You may feel safer driving in your car than you do walking alone at night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a target. In fact, numerous violent crimes happen in or around cars every day. Carjacking and road rage attacks are becoming more commonplace than ever before, and the risk of being attacked by an armed criminal is ever-present. If you want to arm yourself and protect yourself from potential threats while driving, you’ll need to know if and where you can carry a gun in your car. Are there any age restrictions? What about shooting locations — are there specific places you can’t carry? The following answers will help to clear up any confusion regarding the laws on carrying a weapon in your car in Georgia.
Can I Carry A Gun In My Car In Georgia?
Yes, you can carry a gun in your car in Georgia. As of July 1, 2017, Georgia is a “permitless carry” state, which means that concealed carry permit holders are no longer required to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. However, you should always consult with an attorney to find out what the specific laws are in your state.
How Can I Carry A Handgun In Your Car In Georgia?
Must Be Over The Age Of 21
While you can carry a gun in your car in Georgia, you cannot carry a handgun unless you are 21 years of age or older. This applies to both concealed and open carry.
Must Have A Valid Id Card
You must present your driver’s license or state-issued identification card if asked to do so by law enforcement while carrying a handgun, which also includes open and concealed firearms. However, it is illegal for law enforcement to search your vehicle without probable cause, even if they find the gun while searching it. If they do ask you to produce your ID card, keep in mind that the law requires them to not request it more than once within a two-hour period without reasonable suspicion that you’re carrying a firearm or other weapon on your person or in your vehicle. The law also allows for any peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe that you’re carrying an illegal weapon on your roots law enforcement has a reasonable amount of time to conduct a search, which is 30 minutes in the case of an emergency.
Must Have A Valid Ccw License Or Permit
If you are carrying a concealed weapon, you must have a valid CCW license or permit issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Safety, or local sheriff’s office. You must carry your license and permit on your person at all times while carrying a handgun on your person in your car. You must also display it if asked by law enforcement to do so. If you do not have permission from the state to carry concealed weapons, you cannot carry them in your car unless they are unloaded and stored away from the driver’s seat for safety reasons.
Must Not Be In A Public Place
You cannot carry a gun in your car in Georgia if you’re in a public place like a restaurant, movie theater, or concert venue. However, you can carry it on private property that is open to the public as long as the owner of the property allows concealed weapons on their premises. In addition, you must keep your gun concealed while on private property that is open to the public and not leave it lying around where it can be seen by others. If anyone asks you to leave, politely ask them where they would like you to put your weapon and comply with their request once they have given you permission to do so.
Where You Can Carry A Handgun In Your Car
- If you have a valid Georgia Concealed Weapons License, you may carry any firearm on your person in your vehicle.
- If you do not have a valid Georgia Concealed Weapons License, you may carry a handgun in the glove compartment or under the front seat of your car. You cannot carry it in the trunk of your vehicle.
- You may store a handgun in your trunk if there are no other passengers and if it is secured with a locking device that cannot be easily broken into by someone other than yourself or another authorized person who has access to the key.
- You may also store a handgun in the trunk of an unattended car if it is kept out of plain view and secured with the same type of locking device described above, as well as being unloaded, cased, and locked with a key that only you have access to.
- A person under 18 years old may not possess or be armed with any firearm unless accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian.
- If you are carrying a firearm in your vehicle, you must do so in an area not easily accessible to the driver and passengers (i.e., concealed) and not allow the weapon to be seen by others.
- A person who is transporting a firearm must have the unloaded handgun in his or her possession at all times while in transit on a public road or highway, or while on private property that is open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel and which does not prohibit firearms as long as he or she has a valid Georgia Concealed Weapons License and remains within the scope of his or her lawful possession of the firearm.
- When traveling across state lines, whether by land, air, or water, you must abide by any applicable federal law regarding transporting handguns across state lines, including any applicable restrictions regarding transportation via commercial vehicles (e.g., interstate trucking).
Exceptions To The Rule For Carrying A Handgun In Your Car
- You must be 21 or older to carry a handgun in your car in Georgia.
- If you’re under the age of 21, you may not carry a gun in your car at all. You are allowed to carry a gun on your person, though — just not in your car.
- You can’t carry a handgun on school property, or at any other location with the intent of using it on school property. However, you can still transport the gun from one place to another while on school property, so long as it remains concealed.
- If you are under the age of 18, you may not possess or purchase a handgun (or even ammunition) without the express permission of your parent or legal guardian. Again, however, you may still transport that gun from one place to another while on school property — as long as it remains concealed!
- You can’t have a loaded firearm in either your glove compartment or console.
- You may not carry a handgun in your car if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Can You Carry Other Types Of Guns In Your Car?
It’s legal to carry non-lethal firearms in your car in Georgia, provided you do so openly. All firearms must be unloaded unless you are a licensed hunter who is legally hunting in the state. You may not carry a firearm into a public building, or onto school property. You can’t carry a loaded firearm while driving or operating a motor vehicle. If you choose to open carry your gun, it is recommended that you keep it concealed from other drivers and passengers in the car.
Concealed Carry Permitted
You can also legally conceal-carry your gun when driving your car in Georgia if you have: a valid permit for concealed carry; either written permission from the owner of the land where you are concealed carrying; or written permission from the landowner; and legible, non-faded identification on your person at all times while carrying your weapon. If any of these conditions are not met, then it’s illegal to carry your weapon.
Open Carry For Law Enforcement Officers Only
It is illegal to openly carry a firearm in Georgia if you are not a law enforcement officer unless you have been issued a concealed carry permit. You will need to contact your local police department in order to determine if they will issue you an open carry permit. If you are an officer who has been issued this type of permit, then it’s legal for you to openly carry your firearm while driving your car in the state of Georgia. You also have the right to conceal-carry without any restrictions on where or when you can do so, as long as all conditions are met previously listed above.
Open Carry Not Permitted
It is also illegal to carry your firearm in your vehicle in Georgia if you are under the age of 18 without a permit. You can only legally conceal-carry while driving if you are at least 18 years of age, and have been issued a concealed-carry permit.
Cars are an incredibly dangerous place to be. Drivers are often distracted, which means they’re less likely to see potential threats. At the same time, potential threats are less likely to see you, or they may be less likely to care since they don’t expect to find a person in the car. If someone tries to attack you or rob you, you don’t want to be defenseless. In fact, you’ll want to be prepared to protect yourself and others. You can do this best by carrying a handgun in your car.